Attacks on Chinese workers in Pakistan are not expected to have a major impact on the economic cooperation between the two countries, analysts said following the latest attack.

“Attacks like this, along with other security incidents, will have a certain impact on the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, especially for individual investors … [when it comes to] risk assessment,” said Zhu Yongbiao, professor at Lanzhou University’s school of politics and international relations.

But he said the impact would be limited as both China and Pakistan had taken such security threats into account in the beginning and protection for Chinese workers had improved in the past two years following a series of deadly attacks.

“[These protection efforts] include sending troops to protect Chinese personnel, facilities, enterprises … and detecting a considerable number of attempted terrorist attacks in advance,” he said.


According to the Pakistani armed forces, two attackers were killed by security forces escorting the Chinese convoy during the exchange of fire.

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The Chinese embassy in Pakistan “strongly condemned the terrorist act and have demanded Pakistan to investigate the incident thoroughly and punish the perpetrators severely”.

In response to the attack, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday: “Any attempt to undermine the friendship between China and Pakistan or the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will never succeed.”

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in which the port in Gwadar plays a major role, is the biggest project under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, a signature infrastructure project which has seen billions of US dollars invested across the world.


Chinese investments and influence have become a target of the Balochistan Liberation Army.



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He said the group was attacking Chinese targets with the aim of “interfering with cooperation between China and Pakistan, hoping to gain more rights or even independence”.

But it had not been able to have a significant impact as its attacks were “sporadic” while the two countries had a long history of cooperation.

Yan said Chinese projects in the Gwadar Port might actually be beneficial to Balochistan in the long term.


“For instance, if China and Pakistan can cooperate effectively in Balochistan and boost trade in South Asia through the Gwadar Port, this may actually be beneficial to resolving the issues in Balochistan, as they are facing unbalanced development causing underdevelopment and poverty,” he said.

“If the economy in Balochistan is improved through a deepening of China-Pakistan cooperation, and the livelihood of Balochs is improved as a result, then I would say this is conducive to resolving the terrorist problem.”

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“Early detection [of terrorist threats] has improved as communication between China and Pakistan has become smoother [following the takeover],” Zhu said.

“The attack on the Confucius Institute in Karachi last year was actually another turning point and we’ve noticed that the Pakistani side has made efforts to better protect Chinese interests.”